Get Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable

“It feels good sometimes—old fashioned, wholesome and gratifying—to do work that isn’t on a computer. I need some kind of distraction, some kind of release. Running has been helpful, making myself ache in a physical way to release the emotional—kind of like an acupuncture needle. My running group here is in a phase our coach calls ‘threshold training,’ which is basically his foundation for strength and endurance. Threshold pace differs for everyone, depending on your fitness and experience. So we hold steady right at the spot where it hurts, but without crossing over into real pain. Kind of like a physical therapist or masseuse who finds the exact spot that is killing you and jabs her finger right there and holds it while you pant, sweat and squirm. If she pokes there long enough, eventually the discomfort becomes tolerable. I guess that’s the point of threshold training—find your point of discomfort and work right there until you eventually acquire a vague sense of comfort. I’m glad to be here right now, poking at my threshold. I need to do this. I need the hurt, the understanding, the work and the metaphor. I want to get more comfortable being uncomfortable. I want to get more confident being uncertain. I don’t want to shrink back just because something isn’t easy. I want to push back, and make more room in the area between I can’t and I can. Maybe that spot is called I will.” – Kristin Armstrong

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